Tag Archives: anonymous sources

Anonymous Sources and Pseudonyms in Journalism

Posted by Marissa Mumford

The Washington Post recently published the gripping struggles of a sexually assaulted war veteran. Per her request, the source is identified only by her middle name, Diana. “Diana” pretends all is well while secretly accumulating doctor’s visits and battling stress and paranoia.

Credit to Leland Francisco, licensed under Creative Commons

Diana was viciously brutalized and hasn’t shared her story with family or friends. It isn’t the Washington Post’s job to make her pain known to the world. I understand that. Ethically, it feels right. But from a journalistic point of view, is this okay? If a prestigious news source is going to publish a lengthy piece on sexual abuse in the armed forces, shouldn’t the source be entirely verifiable?

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Anonymous Sources: To use or not to use?

Posted by Lillie Schrock

Some sources require they remain anonymous in news stories. Photo by Sasha Wolff via Flickr.

Last night, an article was posted on politico.com accusing presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexually harassing two women in the 1990s. While this stirred up quite a lot of conversation, there is one problem with the article: it does not cite any sources.

The article states “On the details of Cain’s allegedly inappropriate behavior with the two women, Politico has a half-dozen sources shedding light on different aspects of the complaints.” However, all of these sources are anonymous. Is it possible for a story to be credible when none of its sources are willing to be named? Continue reading